Prayer and Meditation on Nature
Dec 20, 2014 1207
by Milton Hook
At the crack of dawn when I’m often only half awake I hear the yellow faced honey-eaters splitting the silence with their piercing shrieks, mustering, it seems, to do a count before flying off for the day’s activities.
About breakfast time a magpie arrives on our balcony for a pinch of mince meat. He chortles his way through his full repertoire and continues it in the paper-barks. The experts tell me the males only sing to attract a female. Well, he now has a mate and this spring he had to feed three young’uns and he’s still chortling. Perhaps he is trying to start a harem.
Later, a pair of red and green king parrots arrive to take their ration of sunflower seeds out of my wife’s hand. And three baby kookaburras glide in for a taste of mince meat. We stroke their chests and they lift their heads to laugh at us. They think we’re ma and pa Jackass.
Sometimes a bush turkey strolls through our garden, scratching and pecking for grubs.
In our neighbour’s front yard a black bower bird has built a sturdy corridor of sticks in which he hopes to lure his mate. She is a drab little lassie but he thinks she is wonderful. He has stolen all my wife’s blue pegs and scattered them around his corridor of sticks because he knows blue is his lassie’s favourite colour. He, of course, has ulterior motives.
In the heat of the day we once found a yellow and black diamond python stretched across the road sunbathing. So that he didn’t get run over by a vehicle we lifted his tail and guided him into a patch of ferns.
The black koel flew in from New Guinea on time this year as usual. He arrives just as the mulberries are forming. Day and night he makes his signature call for about three weeks so that his wife doesn’t fly by and spend the season with the wrong fella. Mark my word, she is one good looker, speckled black and white as if she has come with her best lace evening gown. I spied on them mating in the mulberry tree. He plucked a choice mulberry and gently placed it in her beak and, all good manners aside, didn’t even wait for her to swallow it. While the poor lady still had a mouthful he pounced!! She lays her egg in another bird’s nest and then flies back to New Guinea with Mr Koel in hot pursuit. A long trip for a mulberry or two, don’t you think?
On a moonlight night we often hear the haunting call of a tawny frog-mouth. He usually sits on the street light, swooping on the circling insects for an easy supper. And a possum bounds across our roof about an hour after sundown. At the same time a frog begins his drumming in the garden pond.
Today I want to celebrate your creation.
You have surrounded me with innocent pleasures
and taught me about your masterpieces.
I am impressed by your grasp of technology.
I have only one request.
If you have thought to create a natural predator of spooky spiders
would you please multiply their tribe a million fold
so that especially the huntsmen spiders will soon be an endangered species.
Thank you in anticipation,
and please forgive my irreverence at times.
I trust you have a better sense of whimsy than I have.
– Milton Hook